Striking Bombardier workers man the picket lines in this July tbnewswatch.com file photograph. Bombardier and Unifor, the union representing the near-900 striking workers, on Wednesday agreed to a picket line protocol.
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THUNDER BAY -- Bombardier and the union representing its nearly 900 striking workers have a picket-line protocol in place.
The company asked for an injunction citing safety concerns as a strike continues at the Thunder Bay plant. On Wednesday a judge told the company and Unifor to work out an agreement, which they did Wednesday afternoon.
Once the two sides submitted the protocol they had agreed to, the judge made it official via a court order.
"Basically the judge said that he wanted us to try and get a deal amongst ourselves the best we can," Unifor Local 1075 president Dominic Pasqualino said.
Workers not part of the striking collective bargaining unit who need to cross the line will now have a 25-minute maximum wait. There's no limit on how many pickets the union can have.
While there's no date on when cars will ship out, the company will give the union 72 hours notice before that happens.
"It could have been a lot worse," Pasqualino said.
"I thought we were getting along fine before. I think that it hasn't really changed significantly from what we were doing anyways."
Bombardier spokesperson Stephanie Ash said the agreement is subtle but will make sure everyone gets to work safely and on time. The company is happy with the deal but disappointed that it had to go to court.
"There are compromises on both sides," she said.
Pasqualino said his members will abide by the judge's orders, something Ash said the company hopes as well.
"The agreement is only as good as the people who are enforcing it so we're really now looking to the Unifor leadership to make sure that their members are aware of the protocol agreement."
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